Duke University Alumni Magazine


ot since James B. Duke founded The Duke Endowment with $40 million in 1924, with much of it earmarked for Duke University, has a gift from one source matched its magnitude--and from its original source again. The Duke Endowment will donate $30 million to the university to strengthen financial assistance programs for undergraduates, particularly students from the Carolinas, and for graduate and professional students. As part of a challenge from The Endowment, the university is pledging to raise an additional $23 million over five years to support student aid.

Duke is one of a small group of universities nationwide that accepts students without regard to their ability to pay, and then guarantees to meet the full, demonstrated financial need of each student. "This marvelous gift from The Duke Endowment is an extraordinary restatement of commitment to one of the core values of this institution--making the highest quality education available to the brightest young people from across the nation, regardless of their financial circumstances," says Duke President Nannerl O. Keohane. "That was part of Mr. Duke's original vision and it is appropriate that The Duke Endowment, the university's oldest and closest institutional friend and benefactor, is directing its philanthropy to ensure that deserving students of all backgrounds are welcome at Duke.

"It is particularly encouraging that included in this gift are special funds that will help the brightest students from North and South Carolina attend Duke, reinforcing the university's commitment both to our region and to the education of the students who were especially valued by James B. Duke."

The gift has two parts: a $20-million contribution to the university's endowment in support of financial aid across the university's undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs; and an additional $10 million to help fully endow Duke's two premier, merit-based scholarship programs for undergraduates--the Angier B. Duke Memorial Scholarships and the Benjamin N. Duke Scholarships.

The Angier B. Duke Memorial Scholarships, which provide four years of full support plus a summer at Oxford, are worth more than $85,000, and are awarded annually to fifteen of the nation's best students. The companion Benjamin N. Duke Scholarships provide 75 percent of tuition to ten students from North and South Carolina each year, making each scholarship worth more than $60,000 for four years. The Duke Endowment gift will allow the university to increase the value of B.N. Duke awards to full tuition over the next five years.

"A grant package of this size is an enormous challenge for The Duke Endowment," says Elizabeth H. Locke '64, Ph.D. '72, president of The Duke Endowment. "We want young scholars, new leaders and their parents--particularly if they live in the Carolinas--to feel that they can at least consider Duke as their first choice. We want them to know that if they can qualify for admission, financial aid will be there for them."

Approximately 42 percent of Duke's undergraduates are expected to qualify for financial aid next year. The university plans to spend more than $30 million in student support from its own funds, with $24 million coming from the operating budget and the balance from income from the university's endowment. Because Duke's $1.13-billion endowment is considerably smaller than the endowments of most private research universities and several public universities with which it competes, a greater proportion of Duke's financial aid support must come from its operating budget.

Half of the new Duke Endowment gift will be directed over the next five years to support the Angier B. Duke and the Benjamin N. Duke scholarships. Another $7 million is committed for need-based aid for students from North and South Carolina, with Duke to raise as much as $14 million to match this grant. Need-based aid for students from other states will receive $3 million, with the university challenged to add another $6 million. The gift also provides $500,000 to assist Duke's Carolinas recruitment efforts. Nearly 14 percent of Duke's undergraduates come from North Carolina and 2.5 percent come from South Carolina.

The Duke Endowment, one of the nation's largest foundations with assets of about $1.5 billion, also is providing $4.5 million over five years to support fellowships in the university's graduate and professional schools. Duke will raise $3.35 million in matching funds.


Bowled over: David Grenke, in performance, received a Doris Duke Award for New Work
Photo: Roy Volkman

ver six weeks this summer, the American Dance Festival will celebrate nearly a hundred years of modern dance, its sixty-fifth anniversary, the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, and its thirtieth season of leadership by Charles Reinhart, co-director, and Martha Myers, dean.

With forty-three performances scheduled, ADF will premiere thirteen new works, honor lifetime achievement in modern dance with the Samuel H. Scripps Award, and present new works commissioned by the new Doris Duke Awards. Performances of the festival, which runs June 11 through July 26, feature such companies as Pilobolus, Dayton Contemporary, Cleo Parker, David Parsons, Paul Taylor Dance, and Merce Cunningham. The Nicholas Brothers, Fayard and Harold, will receive the Scripps award for their achievements in modern dance during a special performance and ceremony June 29.

The recently established Doris Duke Awards are divided into two categories: the Doris Duke Awards for New Work, and the Doris Duke Millennium Awards for Modern Dance and Jazz Music Collaborations. The latter, a joint Kennedy Center/ADF initiative, will combine the two American art forms by commissioning, over three years, six choreographers and six jazz composers, whose works will premiere at the ADF and the Kennedy Center.

The first round of collaborations this season begins with world premieres by Pilobolus Dance Theatre and jazz composer Maria Schneider with her orchestra on June 11-13. Another recipient is David Parsons, who along with jazz composer Phil Woods and musicians, will premiere their work July 2-4. World premieres will also be presented by the first-time recipients of the Doris Duke Awards for New Work, Taylor and Cunningham, as well as Elizabeth Streb, Nathan Birch, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and David Grenke.

For more information, contact ADF's Durham office, (919) 684-6402; its Internet address, adf@american.dancefestival.org; or its website, www.AmericanDanceFestival.org.


ntrepreneur and philanthropist J.B. Fuqua is giving $20 million to the Fuqua School of Business to expand the faculty and develop the school's innovative international business education programs. The gift brings J.B. Fuqua's cumulative giving to Duke to more than $37 million and establishes him as Duke's second largest individual benefactor, after tobacco magnate and industrialist James B. Duke, who gave $40 million in 1924 to create The Duke Endowment and found Duke University.

"J.B. Fuqua is a far-sighted entrepreneur who nurtures his investments," said Duke President Nannerl O. Keohane in announcing the gift. "His generosity almost twenty years ago transformed the school that bears his name. Now he is transforming Fuqua once more by helping it train leaders for the global economy of the twenty-first century. He always has taken the long view of education, wisely believing education is an investment in the future and a good business decision."

Fuqua Dean Rex D. Adams '62 said half of the $20 million will go to establish a fund to add endowed professorships. The balance of the gift will be divided equally between global programs and initiatives aimed at strengthening the global orientation of Fuqua's curriculum and funding for general discretionary purposes.

"We are absolutely committed to building one of the world's leading centers for management education and research here at Duke. This gift will profoundly enhance our ability to attract more of the world's best faculty while nurturing global perspectives among our students," he said. "J.B. Fuqua's impact on this institution will be felt by countless generations of future students and business leaders."

Adams said the Fuqua gift will enable the school to expand the international emphasis throughout. Programs already in place include: Global Academic Travel Experience (GATE), overseas student tours in the full-time M.B.A. program; customized executive education programs delivered worldwide for companies such as Deutsche Bank, Glaxo Wellcome Inc., Ford Motor Company, and Siemens Corporation; and the Global Executive M.B.A. (GEMBA), launched in 1996, which combines distance learning via Internet-based technologies with classroom session on four continents.

J.B. Fuqua was born in 1918 and reared by his grandparents on a tobacco farm in rural Virginia. As a teenager, he educated himself in history, business, and finance by reading books borrowed by mail from the Duke University library. He never went to college.

His business career, which spans nearly six decades, includes founding and serving as chairman of Fuqua Industries Inc., which grew to Fortune 500 status in three years and had more than $2 billion in annual revenue by the late 1970s. He also headed several other national companies, including six that were listed on the New York Stock Exchange. After selling his interest in Fuqua Industries Inc. in 1989, he and his son, J. Rex Fuqua, began building another public company, Fuqua Enterprises Inc. They sold their ownership in that company in September 1997.


Model Students: Mitchener, left, Mermin, right, and Thacker, front
Photo: Jim Wallace

study by three Duke undergraduates of ways to combat grade inflation was selected as best research paper in the fourteenth annual Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM), an event that pitted their paper against about 470 others from around the world.

Modeling team captain Garrett Mitchener, a Duke junior, sophomore Jeffrey Mermin, and freshman John Thacker will travel to Toronto in July to present their twenty-nine-page analysis at Mathfest 98, a Mathematics Association of America conference.

"We think our methods avoid penalizing people too much for taking classes with other students who do very well, which is better than simply ranking on a curve," Thacker says. "It's a big problem if you take a difficult class and score worse than anyone else, but the other ten people in the class are the best students in the university. You don't want to penalize people too much because they never had the chance to show themselves in a very difficult class. You do want to penalize people somewhat for taking an easy schedule."

The trio's study addressed concerns about grade inflation at a hypothetical university where the average grade is an A-minus, precluding use of grade point averages (GPAs)

to determine class rank. "The plain GPA method encourages students to take easy courses, a major cause of grade inflation," the team wrote. "Plain GPA rankings also produce a lot of ties, especially when most of the grades are high."

Working for four days up to February 9, when the contest was held throughout the world, the three Duke students came up with options to the GPA, each based on computing an "ability score" that can account for talent while making allowances for effort. Mitchener, of Charlotte, and Thacker, of Durham, both attended Durham's North Carolina School

of Science and Mathematics, a public high school for talented state residents, while Mermin attended Chapel Hill High School. All three were acquainted with each other through math contests before coming to Duke.

"Duke is developing the reputation that it's a good place for strong math students," says Mitchener. "So the Duke math department and the student population are starting to build on each other."

This is Duke's best finish ever in the mathematical modeling contest, which ranks in prestige second only to the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, says David Kraines, a Duke associate professor of mathematics. Duke placed second to Harvard in the latest Putnam competition, held last December, bringing $20,000 to the university's undergraduate mathematics program and $800 to each of its three team members.

While the MCM provides no cash awards for universities or their top-place finishers, the mathematics association will provide $600 to help offset the cost of the Duke students' Toronto travel, with the university's mathematics department making up the difference. The contest is sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications.


nadequately sized channels passing under superhighways can seriously disrupt roadside wetland ecosystems by interfering with the natural flow of water, a Duke study has found. A team from the Duke Wetland Center at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment found that trees, plants, and soils in two wetland systems were significantly changed by the way underlying culverts altered water levels on either side of an eastern North Carolina stretch of Interstate 40.

Curtis Richardson, a Nicholas School professor who directs the wetland center, reported the pilot study in March at the annual North Carolina Water Resources Research Conference. This work, funded by the state-based Center for Transportation and the Environment, is designed to help fill important gaps in environmental data, Richardson says. "The effects of highways on wetland systems are now a concern at the national and state levels. The extension of I-40 to Wilmington meant cutting through literally miles of wetlands. The effects of that on drainage and water flow and species habitats are all very important questions."

According to Richardson, state and federal transportation officials now recognize a vital need for new construction standards to deal with this problem. "But they really don't have the data to say how they should design when crossing wetland areas," he adds. "So that is what we are trying to provide."

He and fellow investigator Kevin Nunnery Ph.D. '97, now a Nicholas School post-doctoral researcher, faced an immediate hurdle when they began their study in 1995. They had to assess the impact of the construction of a highway that had been built seven years before their study began. They chose two adjacent wetland corridors, Beaverdam Swamp and Kill Swamp, which cross the interstate about two miles apart in Sampson County in North Carolina's coastal plain. Both swampy creeks had similar water flow rates and kindred upstream and downstream environments. Their upstream land-use patterns--agriculture and livestock production--were also similar. And both passed under I-40 through the same type of conduit systems--a central box-shaped culvert and two smaller stream overflow pipes.


elling one's product is the ultimate goal of advertising. But in the process of pitching an item, advertisers include "background information." It may be a white suburban family sitting around the breakfast table in an orange juice ad, or a dad giving his daughter a piggy-back ride in an insurance ad.

William M. O'Barr, who chairs Duke's cultural anthropology department, is not interested in whether the ads sell juice or life insurance, but he is intrigued by these subtle implications. Four years ago, O'Barr wrote the book Culture and the Ad, which examined how minorities and foreigners were portrayed in ads and found that, generally, they were depicted in unflattering, often demeaning terms for most of the twentieth century. This semester, O'Barr taught a new undergraduate course that examined masculinity and advertising. He may write a book, based on his own work as well as the ideas that emerged from the seminar, that investigates this topic.

O'Barr says he chose the subject because most scholarly research has looked at "how advertising portrays such unrealistic images of women." For instance, researchers have studied in depth the connection between skinny models and women's eating disorders, and they've delved into sexist advertising, such as the posing of half-naked women on cars. "Normally, when you say advertising and gender, all the stuff about women comes up immediately," he says. "But to ask it the other way, which is about advertising and men or advertising and masculinity," raises questions that haven't been thoroughly examined.

In O'Barr's class, students explore a number of advertising themes, such as men and women in relationships; sports and men; cars and men; images of men through the life cycle; and men's sense of themselves. "We will look at the cowboy because the Marlboro man is seen by many as the prototype of American masculinity--the cowboy and rugged independence, that whole business. What's interesting, from the surface level, is the guys are usually off by themselves, they don't have wives, they don't have children or dependents. It becomes a mythological idea about masculinity; very few Americans live like that, very few of us get that far away."

In advertising, the portrayals of boys and girls are usually pretty clear, he says. Boys are usually depicted as competitive and aggressive and they play with toy trucks and guns. By contrast, girls are shown as cooperative and playful, and they play with dolls and playhouses. But background messages can sometimes become contradictory when the ads focus on women and men.

"What's often said by many theorists who write about this is that a woman has to be either a madonna or a whore, that this is sort of a choice. Either she becomes an aggressive, interesting sex object who's exuding sexuality, or she's busy being the nurturing mother taking care of the children; these things are contradictory. So we're looking at how men in these ads relate to these two kinds of women. What that relationship is like."

As for men, they often are portrayed as the aggressive pursuer of women or the stable provider for the family. But a new phenomenon is beginning to emerge in the advertising industry--ads that specifically target gay audiences, O'Barr says. Products such as Parliament cigarettes, Bud Lite and Miller Lite beer, and others have ads in gay magazines, a dramatic departure from their mainstream images. The Parliament ad shows two men huddled together, while the copy in the Bud Lite ad reads, "Another one coming out."

O'Barr says he is interested in "this closet personality that is beginning to emerge in advertising. Racial and ethnic differences, sexuality differences, this diversity and multi-cultural thing in America is beginning to be picked up in the advertising industry. So what you're beginning to see is advertising that explores these limits, trying to reach out to diverse communities. It's literally trying to be all things to all people, and in some ways they are getting away with it. From a personal point of view, I think it's a good thing that advertising is recognizing the fact that not every man is straight, because that's true."


Hand-raised: baby aye-aye gets special treatment since its mother is unable to feed it
Photo: David Haring

uke's Primate Center greeted the spring with the birth of an unusual number of babies of rare species. The infant crop includes:

  • Three Coquerel's sifakas: Livia II, Eugenius, and Antonias. Sifakas are agile, long-limbed animals, and the Coquerel variety has striking maroon and white fur.

  • A golden-crowned sifaka baby, bringing the total in captivity to four. All are at the center.

  • Two aye-aye babies, one that's remained with its mother and another that's being hand-raised, since its mother was unable to feed it. A third aye-aye, Ozma, is pregnant. Aye-aye are exotic, gnome-looking, nocturnal lemurs that roughly resemble a combination of bat, beaver, and raccoon.

Primate Center officials say the little animals represent confirming evidence that the center understands the nutritional and maintenance needs of the highly endangered animals. Colony manager David Haring M.E.M. '79 says this spring represented a "highly successful" birthing period for these three rare species. "The number of births is especially large for the aye-aye, because of the lengthy period between births for that species," he says. "And this is only the second birth ever for the golden-crowned sifakas."

The center, which is supported by the National Science Foundation and private donations, houses the world's largest collection of endangered primates. Duke is the only university that concentrates on studying and protecting "prosimians" such as lemurs, lorises, and tarsiers. Prosimians descended from primitive primates that were also ancestors to anthropoids, which include monkeys, apes, and humans. By studying prosimians, scientists can obtain analogous insights into the early history of apes and humans.


ust one drink can impair learning and memory in both young animals and young humans, but has no memory effect on adults, according to researchers from Duke Medical Center and the Durham VA Medical Center. The investigators said their research offers the first scientific evidence that alcohol has a markedly different effect depending on the age of the drinker. In addition, they said their studies provide the first hard evidence to support the ban on under-age drinking, which up until now has been based on moral, political, or religious reasons.

"Historically, there has been no compelling reason to deter the youth of America from drinking, other than a moral or authoritarian message," says neuropsychologist Scott Swartzwelder, lead investigator of two studies published in April. "At least now we can back our message with scientific evidence showing that even occasional and moderate drinking could impair a young person's memory systems much more than an adult's."

Swartzwelder says the memory loss persisted as long as the subject was under the influence of alcohol, and that none of the information presented during that time was memorized. The long-term effects of chronic drinking are not known.

According to the new research, young animals respond differently to alcohol in three ways:

  • They suffer memory and learning impairments from as little as one drink, yet adults do not.

  • They develop more rapid tolerance to the drug than adults--an incentive to drink more to get the same high.

  • They experience less sedation from the drug, meaning they can drink far more than adults before falling asleep. This puts adolescents at greater risk for a variety of dangerous outcomes, from memory and learning impairments to drunk-driving and impulsive sexual behavior, the researchers said.

The research is funded by the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation, the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

In one new study, published in the April issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Swartzwelder showed that just a single dose of alcohol prevented adolescent rats from learning how to swim to a platform in a water-filled maze, yet adult rats given the same dose easily learned and remembered the task. The amount of alcohol was not enough to sedate the rats or even affect their swimming abilities--in the range of .08 percent blood alcohol level--but it strongly impaired learning and memory in the adolescent rats.

This finding, which supports President Clinton's recent initiatives aimed at lowering the legal blood alcohol level in all states to .08 percent for drunk driving, was confirmed in preliminary human studies reported by Swartzwelder's team last year at the Research Society on Alcoholism meeting. In that study, younger people given alcohol had a harder time recognizing words from a list read to them twenty minutes earlier, compared with older subjects who received an equivalent dose. While alcohol decreased the performance of all subjects, who ranged in age from twenty-one to thirty, there was a strong correlation between their ages and their ability to learn and recognize the words after a dose of alcohol. Those under twenty-five performed markedly worse than those over the age of thirty, he says.

"Quite simply, the younger the age, the worse they performed on the memory tests when given the equivalent of two drinks," Swartzwelder says. "If alcohol's effects varied that much within such a narrow age range, then there's a compelling reason to believe its effects are even stronger in adolescents and children. Young brains are built to learn. This could account for why young brains experience such a dramatic decrease in memory-related activity when they're exposed to low doses of alcohol."


  • Church History, the quarterly journal of the American Society of Church History, officially moved its editorial offices to Duke with the publication of the March issue. The new Duke editors have re-titled the journal Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture. Editors are: Grant Wacker, coordinating editor, associate professor of the history of religion in America at the Duke Divinity School and a specialist in the study of evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity; Elizabeth A. Clark, John Carlisle Kilgo Professor in the religion department and specialist in the history of Christianity; Hans J. Hillerbrand, religion department professor and specialist in the Reformation and the history of modern Christianity; and Richard Heitzenrater, divinity school professor and noted scholar of John Wesley. Associate editors at Duke are English department professor David Aers and divinity school professors Russell E. Richey and David C. Steinmetz.

  • Poet and playwright George Elliott Clarke, an assistant professor of English, was awarded the first Portia White Prize, one of Canada's richest arts awards, for his artistic achievement. His play, Whylah Falls, adapted from an earlier book of poetry, was produced for Canadian stage and radio. The author of two other poetry books, Lush Dreams, Blue Exile and Saltwater Spirituals and Deeper Blues, he is at work on an opera, Beatrice Chancy.

  • Theodore Slotkin, who joined the medical school's department of pharmacology in 1970, was awarded the Otto Krayer Award, named for the distinguished scholar, teacher, and humanitarian who chaired Harvard University's pharmacology department from 1937 to 1966.

Share your comments

Have an account?

Sign in to comment

No Account?

Email the editor